Published online Oct 18, 2013. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v4.i4.323
Revised: August 2, 2013
Accepted: September 13, 2013
Published online: October 18, 2013
Cervical fractures can result in severe neurological compromise and even death. One of the most commonly injured segments is the C2 vertebrae, which most frequently involves the odontoid process. In this report, we present the unusual case of a 28-year-old female who sustained a C2 vertebral body fracture (comminuted transverse fracture through the body and both transverse processes) that had both a significant distractive and rotational component, causing the fracture to be highly unstable. Application of halo bracing was unsuccessful. The patient subsequently required a C1-C4 posterior spinal fusion. Follow-up computer tomography imaging confirmed fusion and the patient did well clinically thereafter.
Core tip: Patients with a transverse fracture through the C2 body can have significant distractive and rotational components leading to significant instability. In such cases, external bracing may not be the best method of treatment. Rather, surgical stabilization is needed in order to promote optimal outcome.